Poll campaign intensifies as Nepal prepares to elect new government

Kathmandu, Nov 3 (EFE).- Politicians began courting Nepalese voters, as campaigning for the Nov.20 elections began in earnest with large crowds on Thursday.

The election commission has allowed political parties to hold rallies and mass meetings for the next two weeks.

Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya told EFE that public meetings, mass gatherings, and rallies should be held only from 7 am to 7 pm.

The Himalayan republic is holding general elections on Nov.20 to elect a new 275-member parliament.

The country will also hold provincial elections to elect 550 assembly members.

“We have urged the parties and candidates to comply with the election code of conduct strictly,” said Thapaliya.

The poll body head said the prime minister and ministers could campaign from any part of the country but have to seek permission from the election commission.

“We have warned ministers not to use government resources while campaigning. The commission would monitor all activities,” he said.

Each candidate has a spending ceiling of 3.3 million Nepalese rupees (about $25,000) to hold election rallies.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba Wednesday went to Sudurpaschim province by taking permission from the commission without using government resources, said the poll panel.

Likewise, CPN-UML President KP Sharma Oli, a former prime minister, has taken permission from the commission to use a helicopter to campaign in hilly areas.

Deuba replaced Sharma Oli as the head of the government last year after the Supreme Court dismissed him amid a constitutional crisis. EFE


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